Hanan, a mother of a detainee from Gaza, visits her son in a place of detention. Photo: Abed Zaqout/ICRC

2022 in pictures: Resilience of humanity amid vast humanitarian needs

The year 2022 has been filled with unprecedented massive humanitarian needs arising from the effects of armed conflict, climate shocks and rising food and energy prices.

The Russia-Ukraine international armed conflict left behind a trail of despair even as other protracted conflicts persisted across the world.

Here are some pictures that offer a snapshot of the year that has been.

Learning to walk again in Kabul

Sheikh Zaman was only six when an explosion ripped off his leg in an instant. When he reached ICRC orthopaedic centre in Kabul, he was walking with an old prosthetic leg that was not fit for someone his age. Our team worked hard to provide this new leg so the young boy can walk to school and play with his friends. Sheikh Zaman is slowly taking confidence and walks faster and faster thanks to his new leg.

Restoring family links in Gaza

For many of Gaza's residents, each day is a struggle for hope. We have been present in Israel and the occupied territories since 1967 and work with the Palestine Red Crescent Society and Magen David Adom in Israel. The ICRC has offices in Tel Aviv, the West Bank and Gaza.

The ICRC visits detainees in Israeli places of detention and works to maintain family links between detainees and their loved ones through the Family Visit Program.

Hanan is a mother of a detainee from Gaza who visited her son in his place of detention.

Mohammad's two-year-old son, Nehad, misses him a lot. He keeps his father's picture in his little hands all the time, even when he's asleep.

"Mohammad is my eldest son. He's a fisherman and the breadwinner of the family. He was arrested while fishing in the sea at the beginning of the year. I haven't managed to see him until recently," says Hanan Al-Silawi, 55, a mother of seven girls and three boys.

"A call from the ICRC revived my hope that I will see Mohammad. I was told that I will be able to visit him on 02 August, together with his son. I spent the whole night preparing clothes and recent photos of the family," she adds.

Dignified burial for missing loved ones in Peru

The ICRC's Lima delegation monitors the consequences of past and present conflicts in the region, visits detainees and promotes efforts to establish the fate of missing persons. It helps security forces adapt their procedures to international legal norms and trains the region's Red Cross Societies.

In the photo below, families receive the remains of their missing beloved ones, victims of armed violence in the community of Accomarca, Ayacucho region, Peru, to give them a dignified burial.

Supporting some families sustain themselves in Myanmar

For families displaced by armed conflict and living with the reality of COVID-19, finding a way to cover daily expenses can be a challenge. ''Today, we received our first monthly food ration of 2022,'' said Rawi, a local farmer from Mee Taik Village, Maungdaw Township. ''As the breadwinner of my family, I have to work hard every day... it is hard to make a living."

Since 2017, the ICRC has been supporting the community in Mee Taik village with essential rations like rice, sugar, salt, peas, oil and soap. "Most of the families here farm for their livelihood – I do the same as well. In my small garden, I am cultivating chilli, okra, pumpkin, eggplant, cucumber and tomato," U Rawi explained. "All these seeds came from the ICRC. I received them last year in December and now they are fully grown plants. We eat some of the vegetables ourselves and sell the rest in the market."

In January 2022, our teams visited seven village tracts and three displacement sites across Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships, providing some 400 families with financial support to help them sustain themselves. Beyond supporting livelihoods, the ICRC team in Maungdaw also provided food items to more than 9,000 families across 65 villages in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships early 2022, and we look forward to going back soon to do more.

Russia-Ukraine international armed conflict: Healthcare should not be a target

A nursing home in Mykolaiv was damaged at the outset of the hostilities, so its residents had to spend the past six months in a medical facility that was not designed to care for them.

On September 13, a team from the URCS, German Red Cross, and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) moved 32 individuals, including 7 bedridden elderly persons, to a new specialized facility that is still in Mykolaiv but in a different area of the city.

Five vehicles were used in the operation, including two German Red Cross special trucks. In the photo below, an ICRC staff member Pavlo talks to one of the beneficiaries during transportation.

Economic security in wake of Russia-Ukraine international armed conflict

The ICRC defines economic security as the ability of individuals, households or communities to cover their essential needs sustainably and with dignity. The EcoSec team helped residents after a residential apartment in the Serhiivka settlement, pictured below, was damaged.

Azerbaijan: Risk awareness and safer behaviour

The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and the ICRC are involved in delivering risk awareness and safer behaviour (RASB) messages to local communities and the public on risks related to weapons (like landmines or Unexploded Ordnances – UXOS), as well as in mine victims incident tracking and in mine victim assistance activities.

Below is an ICRC staff member conducting a session for shepherds and their family members.

Occupied Palestinian territory: Floods and cold hit Gaza

Gaza has been witnessing flooded homes and streets since the beginning of winter in 2021 and 2022.

"Winter has become a nightmare for us. We all sleep in one room: my husband; my daughters, Hala (12), Ghalia (10), Rimas (6) and Merna (4); and my sons, Saqer (11), Mohammed (9) and Siraj (3)," says Samarat. She adds, "when it rains, the roof starts to leak. I spend the whole night changing the wet covers to keep my children warm. We can't afford to heat the room. So, we burn wood instead. I'm always worried the wood might cause a fire in the room. I can't fall asleep because I don't want to lose my children".

Pictured below is Rimas sitting with her siblings around a fire to get warm in the cold weather.

Malnutrition in Baidoa Stabilization Centre, Somalia

Somalia is facing a relentless drought that has ravaged the country and displaced hundreds of thousands of families. The harsh weather conditions have left many children malnourished. Bay Regional Hospital which runs a stabilization centre that treats critical cases of malnutrition has seen an almost three-fold increase in the number of children admitted between January and October this year compared to the same period last year.